Please introduce yourself. How long have you been publishing?
Hi, Richard. I'm Lela E. Buis and I published my first story in the science fiction genre in 1991. I've always been mainly a short story writer, though I'm now looking at doing some longer works and getting into the novel market. The end result of being a short story writer, though, is that I have a stock of old short stories, both published and not. Nobody much wants reprints, so in order to get these working for me, I looked at releasing some collections.
What made you decide to become a self-published author?
See above. I've gone both routes. Most of my stories have gone through a regular publisher, either an anthology or a magazine. These are intellectual property, though, and most of them are long out of print. I think they need to be out there working for me now. I'm also pretty quirky as a writer. A goodly number of the stories I write will never find a home, for one reason or another. I also think they need to be out there working for me. The obvious solution is to publish them myself. Life is short. Get on with it.
Tell us about your latest book.
I'm working on publishing a couple of novels, but they're not out yet. Instead, I have story collections for sale. These collections are roughly themed. The latest is a collection of lesbian short stories called Competitive Fauna that you can find at Amazon in e-book format. It's gotten all five star reviews so far and I'm very pleased with the reception. The stories aren't just intended for a lesbian audience, and cross over very well. Check it out!
Who edits your work?
I edit, so far, which is hard work. It's really difficult to evaluate your own work. No matter how many times I read through something, there still seems to be a misspelled word or a missing period somewhere along the way. I do have beta readers, though. These are friends and family that I can trust to give me an honest opinion about what I'm writing. Another way to do this is to attend a writing critique group, but with my current schedule, I can't seem to fit that in. I'd recommend that all writers to do this. Even if you publish with an established publisher, there's less editing and proofreading than there used to be. If you don't want to be embarrassed, take care of it yourself.
Do you blog? Why or Why not?
I do blog. I think this is important for getting your name out there and for establishing a brand. There's a noticeable difference in the number of people who stop by my site if I blog versus don't blog. I also do guest blogs and invite other writers to post guest blogs on my site. I've noticed a definite bump in visitors when I do this--either way.
Do you have any certain ideas or ideals that you try to instill in your work?
I didn't start off to include any overarching themes. Now and then I'll plan something ahead of time, like this story is about bulimic girls, or this story is about communication, etc. However, looking back over my body of work, it seems like I write about societal outcasts a lot. These are the people who are always on the outside and never seem to fit into a tidy niche. I'm also interested in how they find each other and how they cope.
Why do you write?
Uh. Just happens.
What would the consequences be of the demise of the traditional bookstore?
The poor would have nothing to read. Well, okay, maybe they could still go to the library. But if the bookstore concept crashes and burns, then I'd expect libraries to go to e-versions of books soon afterward. Then you have to have access to a device. All in all, this would portend another gap between rich and poor. I've recently written a story about this. The advent of the printing press was important for a reason!
Thanks for reading my books!
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